Moving from one home to another evokes a wide range of emotions in people.
Our first four years of marriage we moved six times. We were young, didn’t have a lot of belongings, and what we did have wasn’t all that valuable. And no kids. All part of the job.
Lots, of complaining and tears, though. On my part.
I work with a group who has the chance to move to our headquarters for the next ten months. They’ll have jobs, be coached and developed through the process, and will become part of an instant community.
All are moving into their apartments during a two-week period. They have the option of furnished apartments, but some choose to bring their own things. About half are coming from an overseas assignment while the rest are being transplanted from various parts of the U.S.
Everything was ready for families and singles to move in.
On our end.
What we couldn’t control was how people would show up. To a temporary home with people they don’t know. Being engaged in a program that some have anticipated with hopefulness and others, well, not so much.
It’s the trauma of transition. Great change, expected or unexpected, and dealing with a new norm.
On good days, such a transition represents adventure and possibilities.
On harder days, every little difference feels overwhelming.
I’m not going anywhere, but this will be a change for me, too. New people to get to know quickly, being available to listen and encourage, becoming a safe person for folks who may not have felt that sense of safety for some time.
Am I ready for the transition? Willing to begin fresh? It feels like a new classroom of students facing a teacher they may have heard of but have never personally encountered. Or even harder, the new kid in class who’s just moved into town, with no friends and a real sense of dread about that first day of school.
I empathize with these folks. Even the adventuresome ones have details that need to be completed. Getting a Florida drivers’ license. That first horrid trip to the grocery store when you’ve got nothing. Establishing a routine that doesn’t feel comfortable. Meeting people whom you’ll see every day for the next ten months.
Even as I’ve anticipated the difficult, I’ve been amazed by the hope and generous hearts many of these folks have already had toward one another. People who’ve moved in the day before showing up to help new folks move in. Congregating in the parking lot to introduce themselves.
Jesus calls it being one in spirit. Unity. Genuine community.
Change is hard, and I don’t enjoy going through it alone. It helps to know someone has my back, someone knows what’s happening in case I stumble and fall.
Because I will.
The camaraderie of like-minded people trumps anxiety and fear. Because together we’re stronger than we are alone. Especially with Jesus.
Bring on the change. I’m not an island.